Medical Student Summer Research Program

About the Program

This program is part of the Medical College of Wisconsin Student Summer Research Program, and is subject to the rules and requirements under which that program operates. A limited number of 8 week summer research fellowships are available for M1 and M2 students at the Medical College of Wisconsin, wishing to participate in an intensive research experience with one of the many outstanding clinical and basic science faculty investigators in the Department of Orthopaedic Surgery. A maximum of two students may work with any one faculty member. The program is designed to expose students to research and research careers through extended experiences that are not available in the regular medical school program, geared to students who have little or no prior research experience. Students are integrated into the research process and actively participate as members of the research team, under the supervision of faculty preceptors.


Limited funding is available through the Department of Orthopaedic Surgery, and may not be at par with funding available through external agencies. Students considered for funding will be those who have applied for and not received funding through other sources available through the MCW Summer Student Research Program. Information on these external grants may be obtained through Medical Student Summer Research Program at the Medical College of Wisconsin. The amount of funding available varies from year to year, and the applications are very competitive. It is important for both the student and the preceptor to discuss this issue during the application process, and understand that their individual project may not be funded. Those applicants who are not funded through Medical Student Summer Research Program are then considered for departmental funding. Awards are ranked on the project’s compatibility with the goals of the Department of Orthopaedic Surgery, on the quality of the research proposal, its appropriateness as a short-term research experience, and the student’s well-defined role in the research project. Students should recognize that the research projects may not be completely executed during the summer period, and should be prepared and committed to see the projects to fruition.

The Research Project

The research project must be hypothesis-driven and can be in any of the basic or clinical orthopaedic surgical sciences. Research areas that meet the scientific interests of the funding agencies available that year should be specifically explored. The role of the student must be well defined and reflect a significant level of participation and commitment. The project should focus on a specific scientific question or definitive part of a larger project and be reasonable in scope so that a student can complete a component of work. The research plan submitted with the application must have a clear, well-defined hypothesis, which can be tested by the aims and methods outlined. Independent, student-driven research projects are not eligible for funding through this program. Rather, students must work on some aspect of an existing investigation being conducted by a full-time faculty member of the Department of Orthopaedic Surgery.

Program Requirements

Per the MCW Summer Student Research Program, attendance is mandatory at the following:

  • Program Orientation and Scientific Integrity and Ethics in Research Seminar
  • Enrichment Seminars (scheduled during the summer training period)
  • Medical Student Summer Research Poster Session (typically held in late September)
  • Oral Presentation at the Orthopaedic Surgery Grand Rounds (typically held in January)

In addition, students must complete all weeks of the fellowship and write an abstract of their research in preparation for the research poster session. It is recommended that preceptors arrange for their fellows to present a brief oral discussion of their project at a departmental meeting.

Poster and paper presentation at national meetings and publication of the research project in prominent orthopaedic surgical scientific journals is the anticipated goal for all research projects. Funding may be available for students who present papers at the national annual meeting of the American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons or similar major subspecialty societies.

2017 Medical Student Projects

Clark Andrews (Faculty Advisor: Janelle Cross, PhD) Validation of IMU Sensors For Use During Running Analysis

Emily Laurent (Faculty Advisor: James Ninomiya, MD, MS) Syndrome of Inappropriate Secretion of Anti-Diuretic Hormone Following Primary Total Joint Replacement Surgery

Austin Middleton (Faculty Advisor: Steven Grindel, MD) The Effects of Adjuvant Local Anesthesia vs General Anesthesia on Outcomes of Total Shoulder Arthroplasty

William Montagne (Faculty Advisor: James Ninomiya, MD, MS) Non-Thermal Near Infrared Light Affects Osteoblasts Maturation Through Nitric Oxide Pathways

Nathan Redlich (Faculty Advisor: Steven Grindel, MD) Effect of Preoperative Opioid Use on Outcome of Shoulder Surgery

Daniel Roadman (Faculty Advisors: Roger Lyon, MD & Xue-Cheng Liu, MD, PhD) Knee Osteochondritis Dissecans Healing Following Surgical of the Knee

Kevin Schlidt (Faculty Advisors: Gerald Harris, PhD) Biomechanical Evaluation of Pediatric Manual Wheelchair Mobility

Bryce Toburen (Faculty Advisor: Richard Marks, MD) Outcomes Analysis After Treatment of Calcaneal Fracture with Minimum Twelve Month Follow-up

Gunnar Whealy (Faculty Advisor: Shayne Fehr, MD) Variables Related to Throwing Injuries in Youth

Ross Whitlock (Faculty Advisor: James Ninomiya, MD, MS) Effect of Non-Thermal Near Infrared Light on Estrogen-Related Receptors and Bone Maturation

2016 Medical Student Projects

Apolinario (Faculty Advisor: Shayne Fehr, MD) Variables Related to Throwing Injuries in Youth

Dylan Applin (Faculty Advisor: Mei Wang, PhD) A Biomedical Study Comparing Tension Band Fixation with Headless Screws vs Standard Screws

Nicholas Cysewski (Faculty Advisor: Steven Grindel, MD) Efficacy of Humeral Head Core Decompression in Patients with AVN Due to Sickle Cell Disease or Integrity of Rotator Cuff Repairs in Paraplegic Patients who Require the Use of Their Arms for Locomotion

Nicholas Gannon (Faculty Advisor: David King, MD) Correlation of Pathologic Fibrosis and Necrosis with Survival in Patients with Primary Soft Tissue Sarcoma of the Extremity and Trunk

Omeed Ghassemi (Faculty Advisor: James Ninomiya, MD, MS) Non-Thermal (NIR) Lights Inhibits Osteoblasts Apoptosis

Mason Mocarski (Faculty Advisor: Carole Vetter, MD) Electromyographic Assessment of the Shoulder Musculature During Passive Rehabilitation Exercise and Activities of Daily Living

Dustin Richter (Faculty Advisor: Roger Lyon, MD) Effect of Growth on Children Undergoing Physeal Sparing ACL Reconstruction

Derrick Wendler (Faculty Advisor: James Ninomiya, MD & Dorothee Weihrauch, PhD, DVM) Effects of Non-thermal Infrared (NIR) Light on Osteoclast Formation

Brady Williams (Faculty Advisor: Steven Grindel, MD) VEffect of Chronic Preoperative Opioid Use on Outcomes Following Rotator Cuff Repair

Vincent Yaccarino (Faculty Advisor: Scott Van Valin, MD) Comparison of the Functional Outcomes Between Patellar Tendon & Semitendinous/gracillis Autograft Reconstruction of the Anterior Cruciate Ligament

2015 Medical Student Projects

Andrew Regent-Smith (Faculty Advisor: Steven Grindel, MD) Clinical Outcomes of Latissimus Dorsi Tendon Transfer for Irreparable/Massive Rotator Cuff Injuries

Ciani Ellison (Faculty Advisor: Steven Grindel, MD) Clinical Assessment of Humeral Head Avascular Necrosis and Outcomes of Intervention

Ryan Inawat (Faculty Advisor: Steven Grindel, MD) Sources of Compensation during Activites of Daily Living after Rotator Cuff Repair

Andrew Straszewski (Faculty Advisor: David King, MD) Surgical Outcomes Following Resection of Vascular Anomalies of the Extremities

Rakel Zarb (Faculty Advisor: Roger Daley, MD, PhD) Quantitative Upper Extremity Assessment of Pediatric Patients with Orthopaedic and Neurological Impairment following Three Weeks of Intense Rehabilitative Therapy

Puneet Rana (Faculty Advisor: Roger Daley, MD, PhD) Quantitative Assessment of Manual Wheelchair Propulsion in Children with Cerebral Palsy, Spina Bifida, and Charcot-Marie-Tooth Disorder

Carolyn Meinerz (Faculty Advisor: Carole Vetter, MD) Running to the Beat:  Does Listening to Music Affect Running Cadence and Biomechanics?

Michael Tednes Jr. (Faculty Advisor: Scott Van Valin, MD) Comparison of the Functional Outcomes between Patellar Tendon and Semitendinosus/gracilis Autograft Reconstruction of the Anterior Cruciate Ligament

Stephen Brennan (Faculty Advisor: Richard Marks, MD) Comparing Goniometry and Radiography as Techniques for Measuring Ankle Range of Motion Following Total Ankle Replacement Surgery

Sean Erchadi (Faculty Advisor: Joseph Schwab, MD) Correlation of the Anterior Wall Index and the Anterior Center Edge Angle

Gage Reason (Faculty Advisor: John C. Neilson, MD) Impact of Bony Resection Extent on Gait and Strength in Patients of Distal Femoral Reconstructions with Endoprostheses

Mac Weninger (Faculty Advisor: James Ninomiya, MD, MS) Exposure to Non-Thermal Infrared Light Alters Maturation Pathways in Osteoblasts

Meghan Teich (Faculty Advisor: Gerald Harris, PhD, PE) Characterization and Assessment of Lofstrand Crutch-Assisted Gait in Children during an Intensive Rehabilitation Program

Aria Bagheri (Faculty Advisor: Xue Cheng Liu, MD, PhD) The Application of Stereo-radiographic 3D Imaging in the Evaluation of Children with Idiopathic Scoliosis

Adam Hadro (Faculty Advisor: Shayne Fehr, MD) Variables Related to Throwing Injury in Youth